Interview: God Called Me to Encourage Fellow Black Students in White Coats

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CCCU Young Alumni Award winner discusses how diversity in medicine improves care for the most vulnerable.

Thirty-year-old medical student Emmanuel McNeely considers his life goal and God-given calling to work toward gender and racial diversity in medicine.

“That way we can help eliminate health disparities and really improve health outcomes for all races,” said McNeely, a 2012 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University currently pursuing his doctorate in medicine at the Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

As an African American med student planning to specialize in orthopedic surgery, McNeely believes his career ambitions are a direct result of a surgeon who took the time to mentor him. He has co-founded The Dr. M.D. Project to provide more minority students with guidance in the field. The project earned McNeely the 2021 Young Alumni Award from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).

McNeely, “embodies the whole-person love and care that Jesus himself models for us in Scripture,” said CCCU president Shirley Hoogstra. “The global pandemic has highlighted just how important it is for us to have medical professionals like Emmanuel who are committed both to serving and training up the next generation of leaders within underrepresented communities.”

Study after study has detailed the health disparities between black and white patients in the United States, with black Americans suffering from diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease at higher rates while receiving lesser care.

Researchers have found that black patients seen by black doctors have better health outcomes, but only around 5 percent of active physicians are black, according to a 2018 survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

A Chicago native, McNeely’s …

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